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Courtney Mustaphi, ColinORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-4439-2590
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Publications (10 of 12) Show all publications
Courtney Mustaphi, C. J., Brahney, J., Aquino-Lopez, M. A., Goring, S., Orton, K., Noronha, A., . . . Brushworth, J. P. (2019). Guidelines for reporting and archiving Pb-210 sediment chronologies to improve fidelity and extend data lifecycle. Quaternary Geochronology, 52, 77-87
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Guidelines for reporting and archiving Pb-210 sediment chronologies to improve fidelity and extend data lifecycle
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2019 (English)In: Quaternary Geochronology, ISSN 1871-1014, E-ISSN 1878-0350, Vol. 52, p. 77-87Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Radiometric dating methods are essential for developing geochronologies to study Late Quaternary environmental change and 210Pb dating is commonly used to produce age-depth models from recent (within 150 years) sediments and other geoarchives. The past two centuries are marked by rapid environmental socio-ecological changes frequently attributed to anthropogenic land-use activities, modified biogeochemical cycles, and climate change. Consequently, historical reconstructions over this recent time interval have high societal value because analyses of these datasets provide understanding of the consequences of environmental modifications, critical ecosystem thresholds, and to define desirable ranges of variation for management, restoration, and conservation. For this information to be used more broadly, for example to support land management decisions or to contribute data to regional analyses of ecosystem change, authors must report all of the useful age-depth model information. However, at present there are no guidelines for researchers on what information should be reported to ensure Pb-210 data are fully disclosed, reproducible, and reusable; leading to a plethora of reporting styles, including inadequate reporting that reduces potential reusability and shortening the data lifecycle. For example, 64% of the publications in a literature review of Pb-210 dated geoarchives did not include any presentation of age uncertainty estimates in modeled calendar ages used in age-depth models. Insufficient reporting of methods and results used in Pb-210 dating geoarchives severely hampers reproducibility and data reusability, especially in analyses that make use of databased palaeoenvironmental data. Reproducibility of data is fundamental to further analyses of the number of palaeoenvironmental data and the spatial coverage of published geoarchives sites. We suggest, and justify, a set of minimum reporting guidelines for metadata and data reporting for Pb-210 dates, including an IEDA (Interdisciplinary Earth Data Alliance), LiPD (Linked Paleo Data) and generic format data presentation templates, to contribute to improvements in data archiving standards and to facilitate the data requirements of researchers analyzing datasets of several palaeoenvironmental study sites. We analyse practices of methods, results and first order interpretation of Pb-210 data and make recommendations to authors on effective data reporting and archiving to maximize the value of datasets. We provide empirical evidence from publications and practitioners to support our suggested reporting guidelines. These guidelines increase the scientific value of Pb-210 by expanding its relevance in the data lifecycle. Improving quality and fidelity of environmental datasets broadens interdisciplinary use, lengthens the potential lifecycle of data products, and achieves requirements applicable for evidenced-based policy support.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2019
Keywords
Data curation, Geochronology, Lead-210, Metadata, Radiometric dating, Radionuclide, Reproducibility, Transparency
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-389810 (URN)10.1016/j.quageo.2019.04.003 (DOI)000471081100007 ()
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Research Council Formas, 2016-06355Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Available from: 2019-07-30 Created: 2019-07-30 Last updated: 2019-07-30Bibliographically approved
Boles, O. J. C., Shoemaker, A., Courtney Mustaphi, C. J., Petek, N., Ekblom, A. & Lane, P. J. (2019). Historical Ecologies of Pastoralist Overgrazing in Kenya: Long-Term Perspectives on Cause and Effect. Human Ecology, 47(3), 419-434
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Historical Ecologies of Pastoralist Overgrazing in Kenya: Long-Term Perspectives on Cause and Effect
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2019 (English)In: Human Ecology, ISSN 0300-7839, E-ISSN 1572-9915, Vol. 47, no 3, p. 419-434Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The spectre of overgrazing' looms large in historical and political narratives of ecological degradation in savannah ecosystems. While pastoral exploitation is a conspicuous driver of landscape variability and modification, assumptions that such change is inevitable or necessarily negative deserve to be continuously evaluated and challenged. With reference to three case studies from Kenya - the Laikipia Plateau, the Lake Baringo basin, and the Amboseli ecosystem - we argue that the impacts of pastoralism are contingent on the diachronic interactions of locally specific environmental, political, and cultural conditions. The impacts of the compression of rangelands and restrictions on herd mobility driven by misguided conservation and economic policies are emphasised over outdated notions of pastoralist inefficiency. We review the application of overgrazing' in interpretations of the archaeological record and assess its relevance for how we interpret past socio-environmental dynamics. Any discussion of overgrazing, or any form of human-environment interaction, must acknowledge spatio-temporal context and account for historical variability in landscape ontogenies.

Keywords
Historical ecology, Compression effects, Rangeland management, Pastoralist mobility strategies, Eastern Africa, Kenya
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-392058 (URN)10.1007/s10745-019-0072-9 (DOI)000475981900009 ()
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 606879Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Research Council FormasSida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Available from: 2019-09-10 Created: 2019-09-10 Last updated: 2019-09-10Bibliographically approved
Shipton, C., Roberts, P., Archer, W., Armitage, S. J., Bita, C., Blinkhorn, J., . . . Boivin, N. (2018). 78,000-year-old record of Middle and Later stone age innovation in an East African tropical forest. Nature Communications, 9(1), Article ID 1832.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>78,000-year-old record of Middle and Later stone age innovation in an East African tropical forest
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2018 (English)In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 9, no 1, article id 1832Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Middle to Later Stone Age transition in Africa has been debated as a significant shift in human technological, cultural, and cognitive evolution. However, the majority of research on this transition is currently focused on southern Africa due to a lack of long-term, stratified sites across much of the African continent. Here, we report a 78,000-year-long archeological record from Panga ya Saidi, a cave in the humid coastal forest of Kenya. Following a shift in toolkits ~67,000 years ago, novel symbolic and technological behaviors assemble in a non-unilinear manner. Against a backdrop of a persistent tropical forest-grassland ecotone, localized innovations better characterize the Late Pleistocene of this part of East Africa than alternative emphases on dramatic revolutions or migrations.

National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-350936 (URN)10.1038/s41467-018-04057-3 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-05-17 Created: 2018-05-17 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
Marchant, R., Richer, S., Boles, O., Capitani, C., Courtney Mustaphi, C., Lane, P., . . . Wright, D. (2018). Drivers and trajectories of land cover change in East Africa: Human and environmental interactions from 6000 years ago to present. Earth-Science Reviews, 178, 322-378
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Drivers and trajectories of land cover change in East Africa: Human and environmental interactions from 6000 years ago to present
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2018 (English)In: Earth-Science Reviews, ISSN 0012-8252, E-ISSN 1872-6828, Vol. 178, p. 322-378Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

East African landscapes today are the result of the cumulative effects of climate and land-use change over millennial timescales. In this review, we compile archaeological and palaeoenvironmental data from East Africa to document land-cover change, and environmental, subsistence and land-use transitions, over the past 6000 years. Throughout East Africa there have been a series of relatively rapid and high-magnitude environmental shifts characterised by changing hydrological budgets during the mid- to late Holocene. For example, pronounced environmental shifts that manifested as a marked change in the rainfall amount or seasonality and subsequent hydrological budget throughout East Africa occurred around 4000, 800 and 300 radiocarbon years before present (yr BP). The past 6000 years have also seen numerous shifts in human interactions with East African ecologies. From the mid-Holocene, land use has both diversified and increased exponentially, this has been associated with the arrival of new subsistence systems, crops, migrants and technologies, all giving rise to a sequence of significant phases of land-cover change. The first large-scale human influences began to occur around 4000 yr BP, associated with the introduction of domesticated livestock and the expansion of pastoral communities. The first widespread and intensive forest clearances were associated with the arrival of iron-using early farming communities around 2500 yr BP, particularly in productive and easily-cleared mid-altitudinal areas. Extensive and pervasive land-cover change has been associated with population growth, immigration and movement of people. The expansion of trading routes between the interior and the coast, starting around 1300 years ago and intensifying in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries CE, was one such process. These caravan routes possibly acted as conduits for spreading New World crops such as maize (Zea mays), tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) and tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum), although the processes and timings of their introductions remains poorly documented. The introduction of southeast Asian domesticates, especially banana (Musa spp.), rice (Oryza spp.), taro (Colocasia esculenta), and chicken (Gallus gallus), via transoceanic biological transfers around and across the Indian Ocean, from at least around 1300 yr BP, and potentially significantly earlier, also had profound social and ecological consequences across parts of the region. Through an interdisciplinary synthesis of information and metadatasets, we explore the different drivers and directions of changes in land-cover, and the associated environmental histories and interactions with various cultures, technologies, and subsistence strategies through time and across space in East Africa. This review suggests topics for targeted future research that focus on areas and/or time periods where our understanding of the interactions between people, the environment and land-cover change are most contentious and/or poorly resolved. The review also offers a perspective on how knowledge of regional land-use change can be used to inform and provide perspectives on contemporary issues such as climate and ecosystem change models, conservation strategies, and the achievement of nature-based solutions for development purposes.

Keywords
Archaeology, Iron technology, Pottery, Pastoralism, Agriculture, Livelihoods, Palaeoenvironments, Savannah, LandCover6k, Sustainable Development Goals, Land use
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-387469 (URN)10.1016/j.earscirev.2017.12.010 (DOI)000430774000014 ()
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 606879-REALSwedish Research CouncilSwedish Research Council FormasEU, European Research Council, ERC-2013-StG-337128-AAREAEU, European Research Council, 313797Wenner-Gren Foundations, 9133
Available from: 2019-06-24 Created: 2019-06-24 Last updated: 2019-06-24Bibliographically approved
Boles, O., Courtney Mustaphi, C., Richer, S. & Marchant, R. (2018). Joining the dots of land-use and land-cover change in Eastern Africa. PAGES News, 26(1), 16-17
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Joining the dots of land-use and land-cover change in Eastern Africa
2018 (English)In: PAGES News, ISSN 1811-1602, E-ISSN 1811-1610, Vol. 26, no 1, p. 16-17Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-361929 (URN)10.22498/pages.26.1.16 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-09-28 Created: 2018-09-28 Last updated: 2018-09-28Bibliographically approved
Githumbi, E., Courtney Mustaphi, C., Jun, K., Muiruri, V., Rucina, S. & Marchant, R. (2018). Late Holocene wetland transgression and 500 years of vegetation and fire variability in the semi-arid Amboseli landscape, southern Kenya. Ambio, 47(6), 682-696
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Late Holocene wetland transgression and 500 years of vegetation and fire variability in the semi-arid Amboseli landscape, southern Kenya
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2018 (English)In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 47, no 6, p. 682-696Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The semi-arid Amboseli landscape, southern Kenya, is characterised by intermittent groundwater-fed wetlands that form sedimentary geoarchives recording past ecosystem changes. We present a 5000-year environmental history of a radiocarbon dated sediment core from Esambu Swamp adjacent to Amboseli National Park. Although radiocarbon dates suggest an unconformity or sedimentary gap that spans between 3800 and 500 cal year BP, the record provides a unique insight into the long-term ecosystem history and wetland processes, particularly the past 500 years. Climatic shifts, fire activity and recent anthropogenic activity drive changes in ecosystem composition. Prior to 3800 cal year BP the pollen data suggest semi-arid savanna ecosystem persisted near the wetland. The wetland transgressed at some time between 3800 and 500 cal year BP and it is difficult to constrain this timing further, and palustrine peaty sediments have accumulated since 400 cal year BP. Increased abundance of Afromontane forest taxa from adjacent highlands of Kilimanjaro and the Chyulu Hills and local arboreal taxa reflect changes in regional moisture budgets. Particularly transformative changes occurred in the last five centuries, associated with increased local biomass burning coeval with the arrival of Maa-speaking pastoralists and intensification of the ivory trade. Cereal crops occurred consistently from around 300 cal year BP, indicative of further anthropogenic activity. The study provides unique insight in Amboseli ecosystem history and the link between ecosystem drivers of change. Such long-term perspectives are crucial for future climate change and associated livelihood impacts, so that suitable responses to ensure sustainable management practices can be developed in an important conservation landscape.

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-340833 (URN)10.1007/s13280-018-1014-2 (DOI)000444235400005 ()29397542 (PubMedID)
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 606879Swedish Research Council, 2016-06355Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation AgencySwedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2018-02-04 Created: 2018-02-04 Last updated: 2018-11-14Bibliographically approved
Gallego-Sala, A. V., Charman, D. J., Brewer, S., Page, S. E., Prentice, I. C., Friedlingstein, P., . . . Zhao, Y. (2018). Latitudinal limits to the predicted increase of the peatland carbon sink with warming. Nature Climate Change, 8(10), 907-913
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Latitudinal limits to the predicted increase of the peatland carbon sink with warming
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2018 (English)In: Nature Climate Change, ISSN 1758-678X, E-ISSN 1758-6798, Vol. 8, no 10, p. 907-913Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The carbon sink potential of peatlands depends on the balance of carbon uptake by plants and microbial decomposition. The rates of both these processes will increase with warming but it remains unclear which will dominate the global peatland response. Here we examine the global relationship between peatland carbon accumulation rates during the last millennium and planetary-scale climate space. A positive relationship is found between carbon accumulation and cumulative photosynthetically active radiation during the growing season for mid- to high-latitude peatlands in both hemispheres. However, this relationship reverses at lower latitudes, suggesting that carbon accumulation is lower under the warmest climate regimes. Projections under Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP)2.6 and RCP8.5 scenarios indicate that the present-day global sink will increase slightly until around ad 2100 but decline thereafter. Peatlands will remain a carbon sink in the future, but their response to warming switches from a negative to a positive climate feedback (decreased carbon sink with warming) at the end of the twenty-first century.

National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-362078 (URN)10.1038/s41558-018-0271-1 (DOI)000445927700023 ()
Available from: 2018-10-01 Created: 2018-10-01 Last updated: 2018-12-05Bibliographically approved
Githumbi, E. N., Kariuki, R., Shoemaker, A., Courtney Mustaphi, C., Chuhila, M., Richer, S., . . . Marchant, R. (2018). Pollen, People and Place: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Ecosystem Change at Amboseli, Kenya. Frontiers in Earth Science, 5, 1-26, Article ID 113.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pollen, People and Place: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Ecosystem Change at Amboseli, Kenya
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2018 (English)In: Frontiers in Earth Science, ISSN 2296-6463, Vol. 5, p. 1-26, article id 113Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study presents a multidisciplinary perspective for understanding environmental change and emerging socio-ecological interactions across the Amboseli region of southwestern Kenya. We focus on late Holocene (<5,000 cal yr. BP) changes and continuities reconstructed from sedimentary, archeological, historical records and socio-ecological models. We utilize multi-disciplinary approaches to understand environmental-ecosystem-social interactions over the longue durée and use this to simulate different land use scenarios supporting conservation and sustainable livelihoods using a socio-ecological model. Today the semi-arid Amboseli landscape supports a large livestock and wildlife population, sustained by a wide variety of plants and extensive rangelands regulated by seasonal rainfall and human activity. Our data provide insight into how large-scale and long-term interactions of climate, people, livestock, wildlife and external connections have shaped the ecosystems across the Amboseli landscape. Environmental conditions were dry between ~5,000 and 2,000 cal yr. BP, followed by two wet periods at ~2,100–1,500 and 1,400–800 cal yr. BP with short dry periods; the most recent centuries were characterized by variable climate with alternative dry and wet phases with high spatial heterogeneity. Most evident in paleo and historical records is the changing woody to grass cover ratio, driven by changes in climate and fire regimes entwined with fluctuating elephant, cattle and wild ungulate populations moderated by human activity, including elephant ivory trade intensification. Archeological perspectives on the occupation of different groups (hunter-gatherers, pastoralists, and farmers) in Amboseli region and the relationships between them are discussed. An overview of the known history of humans and elephants, expanding networks of trade, and the arrival and integration of metallurgy, livestock and domesticated crops in the wider region is provided. In recent decades, increased runoff and flooding have resulted in the expansion of wetlands and a reduction of woody vegetation, compounding problems created by increased enclosure and privatization of these landscapes. However, most of the wetlands outside of the protected area are drying up because of the intensified water extraction by the communities surrounding the National Park and on the adjacent mountains areas, who have increased in numbers, become sedentary and diversified land use around the wetlands.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2018
Keywords
Africa, groundwater, land cover, land use, paleovegetation, protected areas, vegetation, wetlands
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-339992 (URN)10.3389/feart.2017.00113 (DOI)000426113500001 ()
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilSida - Swedish International Development Cooperation AgencySwedish Research Council Formas, 2016-06355
Available from: 2018-01-25 Created: 2018-01-25 Last updated: 2019-06-28Bibliographically approved
Beale, C., Courtney Mustaphi, C., Morrison, T., Archibald, S., Anderson, T. M., Dobson, A., . . . Parr, C. (2018). Pyrodiversity interacts with rainfall to increase bird andmammal richness in African savannas. Ecology Letters
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pyrodiversity interacts with rainfall to increase bird andmammal richness in African savannas
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2018 (English)In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Fire is a fundamental process in savannas and is widely used for management. Pyrodiversity, variation in local fire characteristics, has been proposed as a driver of biodiversity although empirical evidence is equivocal. Using a new measure of pyrodiversity (Hempsonet al.), we undertook the first continent-wide assessment of how pyrodiversity affects biodiversity in protected areas across African savannas. The influence of pyrodiversity on bird and mammal species richness varied with rainfall: strongest support for a positive effect occurred in wet savannas (>650 mm/year), where species richness increased by 27% for mammals and 40% for birds in the most pyrodiverse regions. Range-restricted birds were most increased by pyrodiversity, suggesting the diversity of fire regimes increases the availability of rare niches. Our findings are significant because they explain the conflicting results found in previous studies of savannas. We argue that managing savanna landscapes to increase pyrodiversity is especially important in wet savannas.

Keywords
Bats, birds, conservation, fire, fire management, INLA, mammals, protected areas
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Animal Conservation
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-342005 (URN)10.1111/ele.12921 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-02-16 Created: 2018-02-16 Last updated: 2018-02-19Bibliographically approved
Seki, H., Shirima, D., Courtney Mustaphi, C., Marchant, R. & Munishi, P. (2018). The impact of land use and land cover change on biodiversity within and adjacent Kibasira Swamp in Kilombero valley, Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology, 56(3), 518-527
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The impact of land use and land cover change on biodiversity within and adjacent Kibasira Swamp in Kilombero valley, Tanzania
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2018 (English)In: African Journal of Ecology, ISSN 0141-6707, E-ISSN 1365-2028, Vol. 56, no 3, p. 518-527Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Wetlands are crucial ecosystems with multiple values and functions to a range of different stakeholders. The future of wetlands depends both on the legacy of the past and how they are currently used. Using 48 vegetation survey plots (0.08 ha) combined with Landsat 5 and 7 TM imagery, we assessed the influence of long‐term (1990–2011) land use and land cover change on the biodiversity of the Kibasira Swamp. Information on perceptions of adjacent communities on historical changes and drivers for the changes were also collected. Results showed an increase in the area covered by open water by 1% and forest by 4% between 1990 and 1998 whilst Cyperus papyrus L and cultivated land area decreased by 8% and 3%, respectively on the same period. Between 1998 and 2011, there was a decrease in areas covered by water by 35% and forest by 9% whereas C. papyrus L increased by 40% and cultivated land increased by 8%. These changes have affected the biodiversity of the swamp and adjacent to it as numbers of mammals have declined. However, the Swamp still provides extensive habitat for plants and bird species despite the ongoing human pressure. Interventions may be necessary to maintain biodiversity in Kibasira Swamp to ensure sustainable ecosystem services.

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-336737 (URN)10.1111/aje.12488 (DOI)000440898700011 ()
Available from: 2017-12-15 Created: 2017-12-15 Last updated: 2018-10-23Bibliographically approved
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ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-4439-2590

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